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Mistaken Identities

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INV ONLY Mistaken Identities

Post by Miss Valentine on August 5th 2017, 3:25 pm

All was well. More members from the Crime Syndicate than expected had made it to tonight's meeting, taking place in an abandoned warehouse somewhere along Chicago's southside; the topic at hand being… well, what Chicago's greatest gang was currently discussing was anyone's guess, but that's exactly why Miss Valentine was there in person now, situated on a catwalk above where the meeting was taking place. From there she could hear it all, without having to worry about her cover being blown in the slightest. Yes… from up here, she'd be able to listen in on all of their plans and put an end to it all before it could even begin.

It had only been a good ten or so minutes since the meeting had begun, and already the name "Phantom" had been stated more times than Miss Valentine had fingers. And here she was thinking the guy was just some sort of made up supervillain, a fantasy, all this time. I mean, was she really to blame? Never had she so much as seen the guy in person, not even after all the past encounters she had with the Crime Syndicate. Either this guy was some serious business, and he was just too much of a big shot to show up to lowly gatherings such as this, or he was a complete chicken, the kind that constantly hid behind his men. Yeah, he was most likely the latter.

Leaning her back against the rail, Miss Valentine gazed up at the star filled sky, a half eaten apple held to her soft, pink lips. She didn't know how much longer this meeting would last, and as boring as it was, she knew she just had to be there. This was for the greater good, for the sake of Chicago's future.



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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 5th 2017, 9:55 pm

The Crime Syndicate. The largest underground criminal organization in the word; based out of Chicago and led by the infamous Phantom. Or so the stories would have you believe. Most believed he was nothing more than a ghost story. A legend the Syndicate spread around to scare off competition, to keep their rank and file in line. Others still believed there wasn’t really a leader and it was instead lead by a different group of people. Some sort of criminal oligarchy that only answered to each other and focused on their own region of the world. Point is, no one truly knew who or what the Phantom is. Or even if he existed, and that was what the Crime Syndicate wanted.

Whether or not the Phantom existed was not the reason they were meeting tonight, and it definitely wasn’t the reason Romulus was there (that was a mystery he swore he’d eventually solve however). This was a recon mission first and foremost. He was there to gather intelligence, find out anything he could from this gathering and then if possible take out as many as he could without being discovered. That was of course a low priority as if he were discovered than any intelligence he gained prior would be useless. They’d know they had been caught and would change all their plans. Which would result in him being back to square one. Knowing nothing. Romulus Emanuel Mercury did not like knowing nothing. Especially when people’s lives were at stake.

So, there he slinked through the shadows. After sneaking past the guards outside the warehouse he made his way inside sticking to the shadows. These may be professional criminals, the Crime Syndicate only employed the best of the best and a majority had some ability, but he had come across them more times than he could count on two hands. He had figured out their system by now, and if he came across a new one or a change it was simple enough to find the new route. Head always on a swivel, he made his way as close to the circular meeting point and listened in. There were of course the regular talks of shipments, dates, names, places, a new drug that could enhance one’s powers caught his attention. He’d need to learn more about that and how to put a stop to it.

Thanks to either his paranoia, upbringing, or years of training, his eyes would eventually wander upwards to the catwalks and he spotted the outline of a figure. A second more focused glance allowed him to identify that yes it was indeed a person. An individual who could have seen him from their vantage point if they had been paying enough attention. Sure, Romulus knew to move in such a way that he was practically invisible even from above but this was the Syndicate. The person on the catwalk would need to be dealt with quickly and quietly before his position was compromised. Carefully and stealthily moving away from his position to the wall he’d make his way up to the catwalks above, making sure to stay behind the individuals line of sight. Watching their every movement.

Tactically their position was sound. Back to a pole made attacks from behind impossible, body at a seemingly relaxed position one that gave off a sense of boredom. But he knew better, from his new position diagonally from her, as it was a her, he could see she was anything but relaxed. She was watching everything. Completely focused on the meeting down below. That was her mistake. Sentries always thought they had the upper hand. That no one would think to look up and they’d be able to spot anyone dumb enough to make a move on those they were assigned to protect. He’d seen it in soldiers, criminals, agents, and others all the time. Thankfully she was directly above the meeting, thus meaning in the middle of the building and he could come up from behind her and hopefully use her support against her without alerting those down below. Creeping from his position he made his way up behind her and shot his right arm out, wrapping it around the metal pillar and hopefully around her neck. Intending to press her up against the pillar restricting her movement and knocking her unconscious at the same time. Quick and quiet.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Miss Valentine on August 7th 2017, 4:59 pm

Admittedly, Miss Valentine's degree of focus had seen better days. She had grown so disinterested in what was being discussed below that she had instead taken to counting stars, an apple propping in and out of her mouth to combat her growing hunger. But what she craved at the current moment wasn't entirely food; nay, if this was true, then this apple alone would have sufficed. Her enigmatic mind desired something more… something more satisfying. But what?

She saw her answer appear in the form of an arm which leapt toward her from behind with impeccable precision and fortitude, a rare combination of both speed and strength. An attack that most would have deemed as being the total package, and yet to a human who had reached the very pinnacle prowess of their kin, it came off as churlish at best.

Though she knew not the identity of this assailant, there were a number of things that Miss Valentine freely interpreted through her careful poise: first and foremost being the intention behind the attack. It was clear that the arm sought to demolish her with a single move, to render her unconscious before she could so much as perceive it. But that was where this man --determined by the structure of his arm being far too masculine to be considered female-- an assassin hired by the Crime Syndicate, in all likelihood, couldn't have been more wrong.

He had thought her to be blind, to have been distracted. But never in a new moon could Miss Valentine afford to drop her guard in the presence of the Crime Syndicate; even for someone of her level of skill, that would have been complete suicide. To underestimate an enemy was unbecoming of her, but quite apparently, the same couldn't be said about this sudden aggressor.

For when Romulus' arm swept through from behind the guise of the metal pillar, Miss Valentine had long since become aware of the assassin's presence. Her senses remained ever alert, always active and above all else, most dependable. He had not allowed so much as a single one of his movements to go to waste, employing stealth to the utmost degree, and yet she somehow shattered his attempt in taking her by surprise through careful analysis alone. And as she intercepted the limb with her two hands, clasping a hold of the arm at the wrist and elbow, something told her that were it her instead to have attempted a sneak attack on him, then the two of them would still be looking at the very same result.

Garnering her advanced strength, which likely came as a surprise to the assassin, she tugged him hard by the arm and intended to bring him out from behind the pillar and instead slam him down against the flooring beneath her feet. In which case she planned to quickly get on top of him, using her weight to keep him from returning to his feet, her hands instinctively forming a chokehold around his neck. Unfortunately, due to the circumstance presented --with the most notorious of all gangs just beneath them-- there was no method to speak, as it would have only worked to blow her covers. And so she said absolutely nothing, hardly ever even looking at the assassin's face.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 7th 2017, 6:05 pm

He felt the grab before he saw it. Mainly due to the fact that he couldn’t entirely see around the pillar that the unidentified woman agent of the Syndicate was leaning up against. His first instinct of course was to pull back, use his own strength to attempt to pull his arm out or use his training in Hapkido and Aikido to pull her over and down onto the metal beam he was standing on. That of course wouldn’t work in his favor. Even if he had been able to pull the feat off the beam was small, barely enough room for him to stand on let along a body to land on and she’d probably fall off down to her cohorts below. That of course would immediately alert them to his presence and everything he learned would have been for not.

That all of course mattered not as he had not expected this amount of strength from his advisory. He was pulled out from behind the pillar and slammed down into the ground. Rolling with the gained momentum and the felt release of her hands on his arm Romulus was able to take her outstretched hands that aimed for his neck in his own as their positions were reversed. She may have been stronger than she appeared but she didn’t weigh all that much and he had lifted heaver without the momentum from her own throw. Knowing that keeping to the ground would be a ‘death’ sentence for either of them instead of going straight of an elbow or other strike to her face or neck he pushed himself off and rose into a crouched, defensive stance.

It was only temporary of course. No need to stay in one position and allow her to come to him, or to call out to those below. That and he never telegraphed his attacks, one of the main testaments of Jeet Kune Do, that he had been able to integrate with the rest of his fighting styles. During this brief reprieve of him getting away from the Syndicate Agent he was better able to take in her appearance. Blonde hair, blue eyes, lithe and athletic. Wearing a skin tight black suit with a belt that seemingly had compartments on it that held who knows what. Not knowing exactly what this woman could do, but not truly wanting to test it, Romulus exploded his right hand forward palm open, fingers all touching, and the top joint on each finger bent. The bottom part of his hand, closest to his wrist, aimed at her nose intending to knock her over. A follow up punch with his left aimed at her gut to knock the wind out of her was sent out whether or not the first connected if she stayed up.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Miss Valentine on August 7th 2017, 6:38 pm

When Romulus clasped his hands in hers and pushed himself away to create some distance between the two of them, Miss Valentine too retreated, flipping backwards numerous times before a small window of opportunity presented itself, in which both supers had the chance to examine the other. Behind his mask she couldn't argue that the man bore a rather charming facial structure, over which a devilish scar resided on one side, and most of all, he appeared to boast a well built frame, with peculiarly conditioned calves. When their hands had met earlier, she had a small taste of his skill; and truth be told, she rather enjoyed the flavor.

But now was not the time to admire the enemy. He was much faster than she would have ever guessed, especially given his large musculature, but she was sleek enough on her feet to evade the forthcoming shotei strike, dodging it by an inch and only an inch by miraculously balancing herself from her toes onto her heels. She was, however, unable to properly counter his left arm, and she was hardly able to conceal herself from grunting as it connected hard with her stomach.

Stumbling backward, she skillfully broke her fall with the use of her hands. Palming the diamond plated flooring of the catwalk to support herself, she swept her legs upward from beneath her with brilliant speed, her boots clicking apart as she sought to kick each of his shoulders, hopefully causing him to stumble backward this time. In doing so she quickly churned her palms around, employing the use the brazilian martial art" Capoeira" to rotate her body around and issue a series of kicks to his being before he could recover.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 7th 2017, 8:17 pm

She was fast. The strike that would have impacted with her nose was dodged by simply rolling back onto the heels of her feet. Moving her quite literally just out of arms reach. The gut punch however did connect like it was intended and down she went. He however did not expect her to be down for long and moved to ready himself to counter whatever she decided to throw at him. Proving once again that he needed to not underestimate this opponent the two heel kicks into his shoulders and pushing him back a bit. Perhaps not as much as she intended but he had anticipated her strength this time. Still anticipating it and actually taking it head on were two different things. Which allowed her to not only push him back slightly but to also connect with the spinning kicks.

Each time her foot connected was a devastating blow. He was able to move his body in ways that allowed him to reduce the force behind each kick which of course allowed him to brace on the last one his arms bent in front of his chest hands in front of his face and push himself backwards with the force of the blow. His body coming to a stop he threw his arms down to his sides and steadied himself. That was a technique he recognized. One he himself had been trained in. This and her use of the throw earlier indicated that she too was trained in a different variety of martial arts. Some of them obviously the same as the ones he was trained in and mastered. He could at least be certain that his training in Roman Spear Fighting and Borjutsu was something she probably could not anticipate but there was not enough room for him to unsheathe his Veretum.

That didn’t however mean he was completely out of options. Hands dropping down to his left side they grasped and brought up his two escrima sticks. No need to be fancy or anything he moved on her position and made four quick strikes two high and two ‘high’ and two ‘low’. The first two were of course sent to hit her head and neck while the two lower ones were aimed as more body shots. Sent to hit right about where one’s ribs would be. None were necessarily deadly strikes, the head and neck could be of course but he was holding back enough, there was no reason to kill this Agent. Unconscious would serve his purpose just as well. Plus, even criminals had family they needed to go home to. For the most part.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Miss Valentine on August 8th 2017, 12:17 pm

He was already one of the most resilient opponents she had ever faced, based on the single fact alone that no one had ever managed to remain conscious after taking so many of her attacks head on. But this guy… this guy absorbed no less than five kicks from her in total, to go along with a hard shove to the ground that had begun this bout. And yet he appeared virtually unfazed by it all, circumvented by his going on attack straight away following suit.

Seeing the weapons in his hands, Miss Valentine knew it was time to get serious. In the brief exchange of blows they had shared earlier, she had come to see this agent of the Crime Syndicate as her equal, as bothersome it was for her to admit. But in that sense, she was no moron. She was not above the idea that there existed even superior combatants than her in this world, so why could there not be an equal?

She readied herself as Romulus came charging straight towards her, escrima sticks in hand. A direct blow from one of those could cause trouble, she couldn't be hit by one of those without placing herself at a substantial risk of losing the battle. What was special about Miss Valentine's martial arts prowess was the fact that she never dawned only a single stance at a time; because she had mastered so many different styles to their core, she was capable of garnering them interchangeably, without showcasing the slightest bit of hesitation between. There was fluidity, and only fluidity.

And so the movements that she took in preparation to counter against his escrima assault was a combination of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wing Chun, and Aikido, all in one swift motion. Brief flashes of each style were visible at times, but based on the degree of cohesion she possessed, it was hard to make out much of anything, making her that much harder to predict.

She was like a butterfly fluttering about as he drew upon her; sticks in hand, flailing high, his aim directed toward her head and neck. Her arms darted perfectly to her defense, employing the use of her forearms skillfully to disarm the two attacks. And yet because she lacked any sort of guarding to her suit, she nevertheless felt the blunt force of the sticks pressing against her arms. The damage was certainly minimized because of her defensive approach to the battle, but it was there without argument.

But even upon engaging her twice did he not cease in his determination to deal her harm. She was quite surprised to see that he aimed two more attacks at her lower torso, a rather reckless maneuver considering he was risking danger to his own being by refusing to back down in exchange for the blanket of an opportunity he saw ahead of him. Although she knew entirely just what to expect of him, moving her body quickly enough was a different phenomenon; and before she could so much as act, Miss Valentine was struck hard in her side, sent reeling toward her flank.

It didn't stop there, however. While the third had met its mark as intended, she swiftly recovered in time to intercept his fourth attack, quite literally catching the stick as it was on its way to her other hip. Using the additional momentum the swing had provided, she dragged it forward along with her body, using it as a grappling hook to empower her movement as she slid down upon the floor and between the gap in his legs, appearing behind him. It was time to fight dirty.

Having forced the escrima stick between his legs in appearing behind him, Miss Valentine used her control over it to flick it upward, intending to slam the metallic rod up against his groin; whether or not he had come prepared with a cup mattered little, especially when taking her profound strength into account. Following through with her preliminary attack, she slid her foot against each of his ankles, hoping that he would begin to fall backward.

As he did, she opened up her arms and legs, preparing to break his fall with her own body, like a coffin awaiting the newly deceased. Her thighs were to wrap around his waist, her arms around his neck as she went to restrict his movements and silence him altogether with her hand clasping his nostrils and mouth shut.

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 8th 2017, 12:53 pm

She was skilled, there was no doubt about it. His four strikes were all essentially simultaneous. Quick hard strikes intended to do damage and wear down an opponent yet she was able to easily block the first two, the third one hit home and the fourth was caught in her hands. In each block, his tactical mind was working, watching, learning. She was strong surprisingly so for her form, she was skilled perhaps as skilled as he was, and she was determined. A worthy advisory, he would have much preferred to meet someone like her in different circumstances. She could have been an excellent help in making this god forsaken city a better place. But like all things in this world it seemed it was not fated to go in Romulus favor. He’d have to fight.

The fourth strike was caught and he readied himself for the pull, legs shoulder with apart arm ready to tug when she tugged. Ready to keep his ground if she tried to transition this into a flip. Or even ready on the off chance to use his off hand to attack hers if she tried to go in for a punch or grab at him while she held onto the stick. However, it didn’t matter how much you planned or tried to think ahead one could not plan for everything and more likely than not it was all going to go furbar. She used the stick to glide underneath his legs, his arm going with her and before he had a chance to drop the stick it was flung upwards into his groin and thus the cup he wore.

A grunt escaped his lips but little else before he was knocked unceremoniously off his feet from behind going down into her. Using some semblance of his training he was able to use the momentum to push them both down to the ground with a slam. It was not a nice easy fall and probably not nearly as soft as she had been hoping even if she had been able to wrap her legs around his waist and her arm went straight to his neck and mouth. It seemed she was intending to suffocate him. Knock him out in quite the same way that he had intended to do to her at the beginning of this fight. It was smart. On most people, it might even have worked. That isn’t to say it wasn’t working on Romulus but he had been trained to hold his breath longer than normal.

Most people struggled. They fought the inevitable, lashed out and tried in vain to break free from their captive. Sometimes it worked, most times it didn’t. Romulus however didn’t struggle. He knew the hold and with a twist of his right arm was just able to slip it out. Reaching into his pocket he slipped a brass knuckle onto his hand and smashed his fist into her jaw. Quickly after, if she didn’t let go in pain he’d wrap his hand around her own neck and squeeze. “I go down, you go down Syndicate.” He muttered out, emphasizing Syndicate, against her hand that was possibly still pressing against his mouth. However, if the punch was enough to weaken the hold on his body he would attempt to pull himself out her hold and place his elbow into her throat. “You’re better trained than most Syndicate agents.” He’d whisper out in his raspy voice, still applying pressure to the neck while his hands went to hold down hers his legs situated on top of and pressing down her legs.

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Quote : "I am not a hero nor a villain I am simply a man prepared to do what is necessary to make sure no one goes without a family."

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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Miss Valentine on August 8th 2017, 1:47 pm

In tripping him Miss Valentine had readied herself for his descent, and yet even so she let out an audible grunt as he fell down with his back slamming down hard against her chest; thankfully she had the marshmallow softness of her melon sized breasts to cushion the landing. Had she been of the male origin, she somehow felt as though she would not have been as fortunate as she currently was.

Throughout their battle, she too had recognized many of the tactics he had employed. His movements were all too familiar, and it became clearer by the second that this man was vastly trained in a wide multitude of styles, leaving him hard to calculate even by her own standards. No one had been able to match Miss Valentine in hand-to-hand combat, not until now.

Even knowing of his experience, she was surprised to see that he pried his arm free of her hold. She didn't know what to expect next, but allowing him to do as he pleased wasn't apart of her future plans. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and so as he burrowed his hand into his pockets, she moved her hand from over his mouth down to her belt instead, clasping ahold of a single glass vial.

Rounding her fingers around the cylinder shape of the vial, she slammed it against the diamond plated flooring of the catwalk, shattering it into tens and hundreds of shards. It was at this point that she was struck in the jaw by a brass knuckle, and she was much too focused on her own move that she had not anticipated the incoming blow.

The strength in her hands weakened, but ironically the hold of her thighs around his waist only tightened, tightened with fear. She feared him in the sense that should she be defeated, then there existed no one else in the whole of Chicago that could have stood up to him in battle, reigning victory for the Crime Syndicate without further debate. With all her might she fortified the lock of her legs, even as her hands instinctively moved to defend her face.

The world was becoming dark much sooner than she hoped. A blow to the face from an ordinary pair of brass knuckles on its own was threatening, but Romulus had his gargantuan physical strength to back it up. Blood seeped from her lip and Miss Valentine thought she heard a pop when the fist made contact. She spewed blood, forming a small puddle that trickled down his neck.

But whatever should happen to her next, she hoped she had done her part. In smashing the vial against the floor, she had freed the liquid inside. It was an especially potent anesthetic gas, one she had developed on her own. It was devised to affect even those with supernatural powers, so there was no telling what it might do to a human such as Romulus. An orange cloud of smoke engulfed the both of them, as Miss Valentine did her very best to keep him locked up.

She of course was immune to the effects of the gas on her own, but she had more blows from the brass knuckles to worry about. Keeping her thighs around him, she lowered her foot to be level with his grown, implementing its heel in such a manner that she could probe and jut against his nether, so as to force him to open his mouth and more rapidly inhale the gaseous fumes.

In her pain, his words fell for the most part fell on deaf ears. Yet moments later she suspected that he had aligned her with the Crime Syndicate. If this was true then she had reason to abduct him into safety following his defeat --should he be rendered unconscious by the effects of the well orchestrated gas.

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Miss Valentine
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INV ONLY Re: Mistaken Identities

Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 8th 2017, 7:17 pm

The blow to her jaw connected and the hand around his mouth and nose came off going not to somewhere else on his body but another place. He wasn’t entirely sure where but it gave him the opportunity to speak. “Cheap tricks from a criminal shouldn’t expect anything else.” Of course, as soon as these words were uttered he heard something glass shatter on the metal grate like catwalk beneath the two of them. He didn’t know what it meant or what exactly had happened but he had an idea. Immediately closing his mouth, stopped breathing in through his nose, and dropped his right arm back down to his side. He wasn’t sure what kind of gas or poison she released into the air but he wasn’t sticking around to find out.

Using his one free arm to help him he attempted to essentially do a sit up with her on his back. Something that was easier than it sounded to the ex-marine. Moving his body into a sitting position he was able to move up into a standing position with some effort. It had been a while sense he had to attempt to stand up with someone else on his back but he knew keeping up with his old marine training along with all the new stuff he learned would come in handy. Once standing up his first thought was to slam her into the metal pole where all this began or jump down onto the unsuspecting group of Syndicate members down below. Hoping the surprise and confusion would give him the opportunity to slink into the shadows and leave as well as get out of the gas.

Needless to say, the universe or whatever god was up there had different ideas. The Syndicate Agent was able to slam her foot down onto his crotch once more before he was even able to enact either of those plans. It didn’t truly matter how trained you were and even through the cup there was only one response when one’s groin was hit. A sharp and involuntary intake of breath was all it took for the anesthetic to work its way into Romulus’ system. Once that happened it didn’t matter how strong his will power was, or how many different kinds of poison he had built up immunity to, he was still human and thus the effects were nearly instantaneous.

His hand went up to attempt to wrap around Valentine’s throat to squeeze the breath out of her as well, and in a last-ditch effort he attempted to slam his back and thus her into the metal pillar. Unfortunately for Chicago’s mysterious ‘Dark Avenger’ it wouldn’t nearly be as hard as it should have been. His mind already groggy and his eyes struggling to stay open. A simple scouting mission had gone total furbar; because of course it did. A quick “Damn criminals.” Was uttered groggily out of his mouth before the man would slump down to his knees and then down onto the metal catwalk with a soft thud. Down and out for the count. His last thought something about getting a re-breather when he got out of this alive.

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Post by Miss Valentine on August 9th 2017, 2:21 am

She had won, and yet just barely.

It was a matter of seconds that had decided the battle. In bringing the man to what should have been an inevitable deathbed, she truthfully could not say that she felt as though she were the more experienced combatant. They had both given it their all, and had the battle lasted any longer than it did, then there was no guessing how it would have turned out for Miss Valentine.

After he had gone down, she took her time to catch her breath. Blood was spewing even still from her mouth. That bastard had really done a number on her. She couldn't remember the last time she had felt so exhausted, so fatigued. What she wanted more than anything at this moment in time was to be in her own bed, tucked in all warm and cozy. But gunfire coming from down below forced her back up to her feet.

The large cloud of gas she had summoned to defeat the Syndicate assassin had blown her cover, as was to be expected. It was her last ditch effort to take him down, else suffer the consequences of being bested in combat. Yet what the goons below uttered harshly confused her.

"There's two of 'em! Gettem' both!"

Hold on a second. Two?

Romulus' words clicked in her mind and somehow began to suddenly make sense. So they had been played. Either that or they were both far too arrogant to realize that they should have been on the same side all along. How shameful.

Under ordinary circumstances, Miss Valentine wouldn't have thought to rescue another person from danger, especially if he was only going to end up as dead weight. But this time was different; this time she had something to gain from his survival. And so with another touch of her belt, she summoned another cloud of smoke to conceal her movements, and after him she went, tossing the larger human over her shoulder as she made for a great escape off of the catwalk with a leap of faith.

Many hours later...

Down in the depths of Chicago's sewers was a small chamber lit by torches. A fresh stream of water acting like a hot spring took center stage, while a tattered mattress, on which a more or less naked Romulus was sound asleep, could be seen off to the far side. A number of cords were strapped to his body, as if he were being tested in some sort of lab setting. Noticeably missing were his clothes and weapons; they were all scattered around beside the bed like a hurricane had hit only recently. Ammunition was lain all over the floor, samples of hair and nails stored over sheets of paper aligned on simple stools, and some few books were left open as well, encasing the mugshots of Chicago's various citizens. Only his underwear was on, but the fact that it was inside out could have possibly implied that Miss Valentine had taken a little peek there as well.

As Romulus blinked awake, the first sight he'd witness was that of Miss Valentine approaching him slowly as she emerged from the hot spring, dressed in nothing more than a dark bikini. She ran her hands through her wet hair as she noticed him waking up at long last; she greeted him by touching her big toe to his forehead. "Wakey, wakey, Mr. Mercury."

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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 9th 2017, 12:11 pm

He wasn’t sure when he woke up, wasn’t sure where he was, but he was alive. However, he knew what happened. He had been taken out by the Syndicate agent. She had used some sort of atheistic gas to knock him out and was now probably in some sort of Syndicate holding cell. Keeping his breath slow and steady to keep up the appearance that he was asleep the man known as Chicago’s Ghost listened to his surroundings trying to get a picture of where he was. He could hear the sound of flowing water, a subtle disturbance in the flow of it and the low breathing of another person queued him in that someone was in the water. However, that was the only sound he heard. So, stream or hot springs of some sort with one person a guard perhaps resting inside.

That done he took the time over the course of a couple minutes to slowly feel around his general vicinity. He was on some sort of tattered mattress, his body bound by various cords and or straps. He was held down as if he was being subjected to tests of some sort. The fact that he was also naked except for his underwear confirmed this suspicion. It made sense tactically. Remove the clothing and arsenal. Made the prisoner less likely to escape or be a danger. Strapping them down to a table though? That meant testing, that meant prodding. He wouldn’t be surprised if they had stolen his blood, hair, whatever they could use to identify who he was. Whether or not the testing went further than that he couldn’t be sure but with the Syndicate you could never know.

The bonds were tied tight and although he was fairly certain he could get out of them if need be it would take too long if he wanted to get out without notifying his captors. Captors who were moving now, movement in the water and someone standing up. He couldn’t hear their footsteps but he could hear the drips of water hitting the ground as they stood up and made their way over to where he was. A foot pushed into his head and a feminine voice accompanied it. Taunting him awake with his last name even. Suspicions confirmed he allowed his eyes to open and take in the sight of the room around him first. As he has suspected he was strapped down on a mattress of some sort and there was flowing water, the rest surprised him. An underground cavern of sorts. He wasn’t entirely sure. Which wasn’t good.

Especially considering the fact that the scantily clad woman in the room with him was no doubt the Syndicate Agent he had fought previously. So, not only was she to be the one who had guarded over the meeting that had taken place prior but she was also the one who was tasked with watching over him? The bikini and spring obviously a sort of seduction technique. Would possibly have worked on most men (women too); Romulus Emanuel Mercury was not most men. Lust was something that could be used against you, it was something that made you drop your guard and got you killed. Definitely not something he needed in his line of work both before and after the Marines. Plus, he never saw the appeal, to either of the sexes. “You know me, it’s only fair I know the Syndicate Agent who finally captured me.” It was a statement, not a question. Also noted, he was no longer talking in his “under the mask” voice but his ‘normal’ voice.

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Post by Miss Valentine on August 9th 2017, 1:39 pm

So he wanted to see what she looked like beneath the mask, did he? "I think I'll maintain my advantage for now. But thanks for the offer."

She had the nerve to sit down beside him on the mattress, showing her back to him as she wiped her legs dry with a towel. He wasn't strapped down in the least; as a matter of fact, the cords were only meant to examine his DNA and ensure he was compatible for other criteria to be met. And what exactly was that "criteria"? Well, he was seeing it for himself at the current moment.

Yes he had awoken from the anesthetic gas, but amidst his slumber, Miss Valentine had injected him with another drug. One that essentially paralyzed him for the time being, which was why he currently felt like he tied down. The fact that he could open his eyes and turn his head around to survey his surroundings showed just how strong willed he really was.

"But in either case... you're wrong. I'm no Syndicate Agent, and by my estimate, neither are you. Do you know what that means?" She glanced momentarily over her shoulder to make eye contact with him, then went back to her business of... wiping herself dry. "It means our battle was entirely pointless; we were on the same side all along, both opposers of the Crime Syndicate."

She moved the towel to her head. "But I bare no ill will toward you, because I can understand your reasoning. In the presence of the Crime Syndicate, actions must be taken first, questions asked later. I would have done the same thing were I the one to locate you first."

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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury on August 9th 2017, 3:11 pm

The as of now still nameless blonde sat down beside him on the mattress with her back to him. You never turned your back to your opponent. Unless you were absolutely sure that they had no way of getting to you and even then, taking your eyes off them was unwise. Obviously, she was seriously underestimating Romulus’ skill or she truly thought he was going to be no problem. Either way of thinking was fine with him, if her guard was done it allowed him to gather his strength to make his move. Perhaps try and coerce a location out of her or even a reason as to why she kept him alive. Why the Syndicate wanted him here or what they planned to do to him. Of course, his thought process was interrupted and turned upside down when she claimed not to be a Syndicate agent. Saying he wasn’t one either.

She claimed that she was no agent of the Crime Syndicate. That she had believed him to be one and now that it was ‘clear’ they both weren’t there was only one explanation. He of course didn’t agree. Even if he believed she wasn’t a part of the Crime Syndicate there was still the fact that he was strapped up, stripped of his belongings and in her . . . lair? Had to be. In her lair with no way of knowing how to get out. Admittedly if the positions were reversed he might have left her in somewhat of the same state but he at least would have not had her strapped down. Well okay, at least not after confirming her identity and realizing that he had made an error in judgement due to the heat of battle. Possibly.

“Right. Me being tied down and my identity uncovered and flaunted around doesn’t ease my mind. You may not be part of the Crime Syndicate but obviously you don’t think we’re on the same side.” He flexed his arm against the straps that were holding him down to illustrate his point. But found that he couldn’t; or at least that the effort of doing so was hard. Much harder and more sluggish that it should have been. As if the receptors in his brain that controlled his movement were trying to process the act but just unable to physically do so. His mind immediately flashed to the anesthetic gas used before and this situation now. Obviously, she was a skilled chemist and this was just another concoction to keep him down. “More drugs? Who are you really and what do you want with me?” He doubted it’d be that easy but best to start with the simple questions first.

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Post by Miss Valentine on August 9th 2017, 4:41 pm

"Easy there," she said at the sound of him attempting to get back up. She looked back at him to enjoy the sight of him struggling hard to escape from his "imprisonment".

"Yes, more 'drugs'. I couldn't risk you waking up and running all rampant around here with that hard head of yours. Not until we've come to amends with one another, at the very least." She leaned over in front of him, taking a flask that was sitting by the bedside. Undoing the top, she slid some of the liquid into her mouth.

"I've never seen a man be so uptight when sharing a bed with a woman like so. Lighten up, will you? I do not intend to take your life, nor harm you any further, not in the slightest. What I wish to obtain from you is your knowledge of the Crime Syndicate and this man they call 'the Phantom'. We share a mutual interest in that we'd both like to abolish that criminal organization; so how's about we set aside our differences and work toward that common goal?"

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